The Regent Boland Cavaliers played some thrilling rugby as they thrashed the Valke 79-26 (half-time 34-19) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match in Worcester on Saturday.
With the country’s head coach, Heyneke Meyer, in attendance for the Springbok squad announcement after the game, the Cavaliers used their backline to great effect, strolling through for 12 tries. It has to be admitted, however, that they were up against an exceptionally naive Valke defence.
Boland also used the rolling maul superbly to score four of their tries, two of them going to captain and flank Franzel September.
Impressive outside centre Senan van der Merwe pounced on a dropped pass to turn the opening three minutes of Valke pressure into counter-attack and a try to eighthman Zandre’ Jordaan in the corner.
September scored his first from a rolling maul in the seventh minute, with flyhalf Elgar Watts, who did much to spark his backline, adding the conversion and a penalty to stretch the lead to 15-0 after just 10 minutes.
The flags had barely gone down from that kick when hooker and man of the match Ashton Constant went on a bullocking run and then produced a lovely pop-pass inside for Watts to score and convert his own try (22-0).
Two tries provided some salve for the Valke, powerful centre Jaco Oosthuizen cutting back through some poor defending to score and prop Nico Pretorius going over from close range, but the visitors still could not solve their defensive problems and the Cavaliers scored two more tries before the break to keep the Gautengers at bay.
September used the rolling maul to grab his second, before fullback Eric Zana burst through, finding good support from flank Junior Bester, who passed back inside to scrumhalf Neil Papier, who dashed over.
Wing Cornal Hendricks, a constant threat, sped away to score to give Boland the ideal start to the second half and more faulty defending by the Valke allowed Papier to roar over for his second try after a half-break by Watts.
The Cavaliers were really starting to pull away with a 48-19 lead just six minutes into the second half and the half-century was up after 58 minutes as the home team were disallowed a try, but then won the ball from the Valke’s scrum feed, Hendricks wrong-footing the defence with ridiculous ease to score his second try.
The Valke were better with ball in hand and replacement wing JC Greyling scored their bonus-point try on the hour, after centre Willie Odendaal had broken straight through some poor midfield defence.
The Eastern Gautengers soon infringed, however, and replacement hooker Madoda Yoka picked up the ball from a ruck after the rolling maul from the penalty and dotted down.
The Valke were near-exhausted by then and the Cavaliers scored three more tries in the closing stages – wing Brendon April grabbing two and lock PJ van Zyl the other.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Zandre’ Jordaan, Franzel September (2), Elgar Watts, Neil Papier (2), Cornal Hendricks (2), Madoda Yoka, Brendon April (2), PJ van Zyl. Conversions: Watts (5), Ricardo Croy (3). Penalty: Watts.
Valke – Tries: Jaco Oosthuizen (2), Nico Pretorius, JC Greyling. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2), Juan Kotze.